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Conservatives defect to UKIP over gay marriage law

Conservatives defect to UKIP over gay marriage law

Conservative voters have defected to a right-wing and anti-European Union party after the government announced their proposal for gay marriage, polls have shown today (16 December).

The UK Independence Party (UKIP)’s leader, Nigel Farage, has pledged to exploit divisions in the Conservative party over the issue, hoping to woo people who are against marriage equality.

In three polls it showed support for the party has grown putting it in third place ahead of the Liberal Democrats.

One from ComRes stated British people rated the Labour party with 39% support, the Conservatives with 29%, and UKIP have 14%.

All three surveys had the Liberal Democrats, whose leader Nick Clegg first said gay people should be able to marry in churches, trailing in fourth on 9% or less.

Andrew Hawkins, chairman of ComRes, said one in five of the Conservative party’s 2010 voters say they now intend to vote UKIP.

‘There is good evidence that many UKIP voters are erstwhile Conservatives on the rebound: large proportions are negative about David Cameron and George Osborne on the economy, and about Mr Cameron’s handling of gay marriage,’ he said.

In the gay marriage proposal on Tuesday (11 December), Equalities Minister Maria Miller unveiled the government’s plans to support gay people marrying in religious buildings.

As part of the legislation, there will be a ‘quadruple lock’ to ensure no gay couple is able to sue a religious organization for refusing to hold a same-sex ceremony.

The Church of England and Wales are also banned from ‘opting in’ to the legislation, an action the Archbishop of Wales described as a ‘step too far’.

Speaking to Sky News, Farage said: ‘Unless we see some really substantial change from the government and the Labour party with a U-turn on Europe, open-door immigration, gay marriage and other things, then there’s no reason to think that this level of support for UKIP can’t be maintained.’

Support for gay marriage has grown in the last week, with 60% of Britons supporting the change since the proposal was announced – up from 43% two months ago.